Review: Peculiarly, Fasaan offshoot Chalice has lain dormant since the label's first release appeared in stores back in 2014. Happily its Swedish parent label has decided to pull out all the stops for this comeback 12", gathering together six tracks from artists based across Europe and beyond. At six tracks deep there's not enough space to go into detail about every track, but suffice to say they're all loose, warm, quirky and generally lo-fi in feel. Highlights include the dreamy analogue synth-funk of Ruf Dug's "Cassette Boogie", the poignant, emotion-rich synth-wave warmth of Fahcrur Riaz Hazbullah's "Muriam", the clicking beats and intergalactic synth flourishes of "Heina" by Ruutu Pois and the frankly foreboding loose-house creepiness of "II Y A" by Dublin's Compassion Crew.
Review: The Running Back affiliated Mondo label is back with more impressive Balearic and chillout grooves. This follows up the tremendous compilation album; Collezione, which was released earlier this year. Label boss Francesco de Bellis aka L.U.C.A. appears with several long time collaborators such as Raiders Of The Lost Arp with the smooth astral travelling vibes of "Niagara (Rotla Version)". He then teams up with Polysick on the "Afghanistan Version" which is the smooth cruising psych-rock derivative that Psychemagik would sit up and notice. Finally it's L.U.C.A. Himself with the "Quirky Version" an intense retro house throwback in the vein of Lauer or Tuff City Kids and not being shy on the funk bass or heavy claps.
Rawmance - "Mondonotte, La Mattina Dopo" (Security re-drums) (3:30)
Review: La Beaute Du Negatif's fourth multi-artist EP arrives with little fanfare or fuss. Instead, the Rome-based label has decided to simply offer-up the EP and let us come to our own conclusions. For what it's worth, ours is that it's well worth checking - especially Monomorph's blissful, acid-flecked IDM opener "Rystal", which previously appeared on a hard-to-find CD way back in 1996. There are plenty of highlights elsewhere across the EP, though. Head first for the sparse, spacey cheeriness of Brainwaltzera's "Phos Harbinger", before getting your ears around the ambient jungle-techno brilliance of "Opener" by The Jaffa Kid. This is followed on side B by the shuffling, sun-kissed downtempo grooves of SSIEGE's "Sogno In BB" and a drowsy, mind-altering chunk of late 90s Warp Records style electronica by Rawmance.
Take It Personally (Exclusive unreleased instrumental) (1:30)
Review: Mukatsuku's latest must-have release offers another opportunity to own early Freddie Cruger AKA Red Astaire favourite "Take It Personally". The wonderfully dusty, smoky and life-affirming hip-hop-soul cut first appeared as a Swedish only CD single in 2001, before later being included on the Stockholm stalwart's 2006 debut album "Soul Search". This time round, the inspired original - all head-nodding beats, sumptuous strings and sugary-sweet vocals from guest Desmond Foster - comes accompanied by a previously unreleased instrumental take. This vocal-free version is superb, offering listeners a chance to wallow in the quality of the Swedish veteran's bumpin' beats and intoxicating, head-in-the-clouds production. In the record box of Danny Krivit,DJ Spinna, Kid Koala and more! Only 300 hand-numbered copies and strictly no repress. Juno copies come exclusively in additional hand stamped kraft paper inner sleeve and branded card outer sleeve. Don't sleep !
Review: Having previously popped up on ESP Institute, Juan Ramos teams up with Trent to form Greenvision, making their first appearance on the home of freshly squeezed discoid deviance, Cocktail D'Amore. "Surdinia" takes over the A side with a bombastic array of peak time devices in its utility belt, from bubbling acid tweaks to gluttonous monosynth leads and a chunky set of drums. "Meccanica" is no slouch either, laying down thick slabs of synthesized grease in pursuit of a different kind of party track. This is unusual, distinctive club music for those who want the crowd to stop and pay attention.
Review: Emotional Rescue turn their attention to Rare Silk and their sublime cult classic "Storm". It's one of those rare tracks with a wonderful otherworldly quality that manages to be smooth and accessible, and somehow not like anything you've ever heard before. It must be somewhere in the mix, between the dreamy harmonized vocals, lush instrumentation and curious sense of space. The original on the A side is a treat enough, but then throw in a mercurial dubbed out version by Arp on the flip and you've got yourself a 12 inch portal to a most delightful dimension.
Review: The R&S label has many similarities to the legendary Basic Channel label. Although the vibe isn't 'that technoid' anymore, an astonishing range of tracks is presented here. Every 12" so far stands for itself. 'Roll Off' is a deep shaped and pulsating ambient tune in two parts with a unique sound scape of organic chords and coloured noises.
Review: Rat & Co's third album Third Law has been deep in incubation since 2014's Binary. A slight line-up tweak, time in the wilderness and - by the sounds of things - a few new machines have influenced and their picturesque, otherworldly signature, making the hazy bits a little chewier, the darker bits a little denser and making the trippy bits just that little bit freakier. From the swooning harmonic dirge of "I'm Not Dead" to the sunset breaks and glistening guitars of "Nerd Lock" via the penetrative comosis of "Soldiers", this is the sound of an act really digging deep into their sound and nestling right in. Their most accomplished and cohesive album so far.
Review: Berlin producer Rising Sun serves up a full length release on local imprint Fauxpas Musik but this is on more of a broken soul tip. Starting out smoothly with the blissed out breaks of "The Light And The Dark" he soon launches into the breakbeat driven deep house of "Entrance (Live)" and the trancey house-dub crossover of "Pressure". Elsewhere there's a variety of moods and grooves on here that are equally as splendid such as the heavenly chill-out electronica of "Parade", the pitched down liquid drum and bass of "Brighter Day", the lovely and majestic ambience of "D.E.T.R.O.I.T" and the emotive and bittersweet trip-hop of "Hold The Line". A solid effort over its entirety of 14 tracks that deserves your attention.
Review: French electronic music maverick Erwan Castex aka Rone drops an LP for his native InFine imprint! This, as one would expect from Castex by now, is an excursion into the deepest depth of the synthesizer. There are both moments of total abstraction, such as on "(OO)" and "Ouija", and of sheer delicacy on the wonderful "Acid Reflux" or "Memory". The most impressive aspect of the album is Rone's technical ability, a freedom to express even the wildest of ideas into a concrete groove and sonic structure. Recommended.
Review: Surprisingly, it's been some four years since Croat producer Ilija Rudman dropped his much-played debut album, The Reveal, on Bear Funk. Happily, True Colours - his first outing on Is It Balearic - sees him in fine form, joining the dots between kaleidoscopic synth-funk, rubbery dub-disco, spaced-out boogie and glassy-eyed downtempo jams. Rudman is an expert at capturing the sounds of bygone eras, usually through the use of vintage equipment, while delivering tracks that sound thoroughly fresh and original. It's this that makes True Colours such a fantastic set. Highlights are plentiful, from the close dance smoothness of "Bad Passion" and boogie dub vibes of "All The Time" (check the delay-laden hits and sweeping violins) to the jaunty electro-goes-Balearic brilliance of "Wild Guess".